When: February 29, 2016
Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi and “All for WATER for all”, are jointly holding a one day media briefing-cum workshop called“Surface Tension” on February 29, 2016, to discuss the poor state of lakes and wetlands of India which are dying due to the threat of urbanisation. All for WATER for all includes local NGO like Pondycan, UNESCO, Governments of Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu, Auroville, French Consulate in Pondicherry, media etc. The meeting will focus on the southern part of the country which faced one of the biggest flood events recently- the loss of urban sponges is one of the primary reasons for this devastation. Cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai have lost their wetlands and lakes due to urban expansion, pollution and catchment loss. The loss of the urban wetlands and lakes in these urban centres caused almost 4-6 major flooding events in the last decade. The story continues in other cities of India. Every year the cities face water scarcity once the rains are over. The lost sponges also helped the cities to recharge its groundwater.
Urban planners cannot see beyond land and the urban waterbodies are only regarded as holes on the ground, lucrative real estate for builders or the last resort for slum dwellers or garbage dumps. Cities have stopped giving values to their water wealth – their own lifeline. In spite of all the efforts of civil society groups, working through judicial intervention, the movement to protect and revive lakes is facing an uphill battle. This is because the administrative framework to manage a waterbody simply does not exist in our cities. Our workshop will deal with the state of the waterbodies in the urban centres of south India and also the existing policies and laws which are meant to protect them.
We believe that the country needs to value the natural endowment and its function. The real challenge lies in ensuring that these bodies are supplied with unpolluted water for recharge. The workshop will be organised to influence policy debates in rapidly urbanising cities in order to protect and conserve the urban lakes of the country.
Participation in the event is by invitation only.
For details contact:
Media Resource Centre